CCP Greyscale's latest dev blog is called "Alchemy" and looks at the newest issue they've identified with EVE's economy, the inflated price of rare moon minerals. Greyscale says, "In particular, two rare moon minerals - dysprosium and (to a lesser extent) promethium - are becoming ever-more expensive as increased demand puts pressure on a limited supply. This is likely to become an increasingly large issue as time goes on, with prices for these minerals continuing to rise due to demand, and the increased price being passed on to the consumer of the final product." As we've mentioned in the past, these rare minerals in New Eden are something that the largest, most powerful alliances have sought to control and thus has been one of the drivers of conflict in lawless 0.0 space.
Addressing the situation of scarcity of the most valuable minerals, CCP Greyscale ways, "If you think this is sounding remarkably similar to the original situation with T2 BPOs, you're not alone! In order to head this problem off at the pass before it becomes critical, we're implementing some new mechanics with similar goals to invention - take the load off the limited resources while preserving a good chunk of their values - but this time with moon minerals rather than blueprints."
The solution, then, is to introduce new reactions that allow players to use lower-end minerals to synthesize the rare dysprosium and promethium minerals. This process won't be an efficient one, though, with common minerals being substituted for rare ones at a ratio of 20:1.
Greyscale adds: "Market prices of the commoner materials and the cost of mining and reacitng them will create dynamic minimum values for intermediate materials created through this process, which gives owners of rare moons the ability to undercut these values and maintain a hold on the market in situations where supply can keep up with demand. Where demand outstrips supply, these reactions will allow the market to try and adjust itself to cope."
Greyscale states that this measure taken by CCP is 'the other half' of the invention game mechanic, and that CCP's Lead Economist Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson will be monitoring the situation so CCP can react if any adverse changes in the game's economy result. As with any potentially big change to the game, player response to the announcement is mixed, and is being discussed on the official forums as well as at Scrapheap Challenge.